Tomato plant in a plastic bottle (Joseph TOLLEDOT)

Read in Joseph TOLLEDOT’S message of June 28th, 2007 and seen at his

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8511374@N06/519875128/in/set-72157600419690241/ 

showing a nice experiment with a happy tomato plant in a water bottle cut in half

 Our exchange of comments was throwing some light on the effectiveness of this simple system :

1. Joseph : This is one bottle cut in two – the top is longer to hold more soil and I just inverted it into the bottom – I left the cap on and made a hole in it for the wick. I used a strip cut from a fibre kitchen wiper as wick. There is definitely a problem with the algae growth, but I suppose it could be remedied by painting the outside of the bottle or using opaque ones like milk bottles.

2. Willem : That’s very practical. Do you need a wick? If the cap is touching the bottom of the reservoir, could a hole in the bottleneck be sufficient to have the water adsorbed by the potting soil ? Maybe you can wrap the bottom part in aluminium foil to avoid algae growth ?

3. Joseph : Yes, you don’t need a wick if you push in the top to the bottom. See the following where I have picked up many ideas:

www.kidsgardening.com/HYDROPONICSGUIDE/hydro7-3.asp

www.bottlebiology.org/

www.toppers-place.com/container.htm

www.ohcripes.com/?page_id=27

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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